Next week Moscow is going to see the opening of a unique place called StressLess Lounge & Beauty Bar.
This is the first international project, but “ER centers” like this are scheduled to open soon in other wild and crazy cities from New York to Tokyo.
For many years, Krista Kiley has been working as an international SPA-consultant with Aveda — and she has literally been living on the plane. The frequent travels, naturally, gave her very little time to actually get SPA treatments herself. “I’ve been asking myself, why do I always miss the SPA treatment, when I’m working in the industry!”. That’s how the concept of the new SPA came into being: StressLess Lounge & Beauty Bar doesn’t require an appointment, and all the treatments are going to be 20 minutes long.
StressLess Lounge & Beauty Bar is an idea of Krista Kiley and the Project 42 team
“Part of my job is training other therapists. As it happens, I can be demonstrating something on one of them for just five minutes, and the people go like: „That’s amazing! I feel so much better, you can’t even imagine!“ In five minutes. When I started thinking about it, I realized that although ideally you would have one hour to an hour and a half for a massage, in twenty minutes or even less you can already get a pretty good result. If you are really concentrated and tuned in, breathe properly and so on, you can evoke a positive shift in the body and energize the client quickly”.
StressLess Lounge & Beauty Bar is where you can have a yummy bite from the fresh seasonal menu and a massage treatment, all in one hour — isn’t that an ideal lunch break? You won’t even have to switch off your phone. “In no case do we want to create additional stress for you” Krista says, smiling. “I often have clients coming to me saying they just can’t do this — they have kids, or important work, or other circumstances”. According to Krista’s colleagues, although what they are about to open is called StressLess Bar, everyone is actually under colossal stress. Except Krista — she keeps amazingly calm in the most difficult situations. We asked Krista to share her main secrets of beauty and stress resistance.
1. “I never say one should get rid of stress”
Stress is actually not that bad. It strengthens us, makes us super-ladies. What’s bad is not the stress we are under, but that we lack the recovering time. When under stress, our nervous system is activated — this comes from long ago, when men hunted wild animals. Nowadays we don’t have that much physical danger, but we do have huge nervous tension. The body responds the same way in both cases. Whether it’s real physical danger, or you’re just thinking: “oh, I’m so stressed”. The problem is, with our way of life we don’t give ourselves the time to recover. In fact, the body can switch to relaxed mode very quickly, you just have to give your body the chance. When you do it consciously, like going to the StressLess Lounge for twenty minutes and start breathing deeply, you body instantly goes over to that cycle where the recovering begins.
2. “Laughter is the best medicine”
A good laugh always helps me, I come from a crazy family (in a good way of course), that’s why the best therapy for me is to call my dad. He can always make me laugh.
3. “Five minutes yoga every day is better than an hour once a week”
I do classical, slow yoga. I like keeping a pose for a long time, breathing slowly, no hurry. This slowness calms me. For me yoga is not about fitness, but a way to relieve stress. I practice yoga every day, though sometimes due to my busy schedule I only do five minutes or so. Sometimes I do yoga in weird places, like on a plane, and people look at me strangely. But I keep telling my clients and friends: five minutes per day is better than a whole hour once a week.
4. Switzerland or Moscow?
I like thinking that whatever we do in our lives either gives us energy or takes it away. I live in Switzerland, which is not a stressful place, not at all. I live there in “quiet” mode, and when I go to the USA or -even worse- to Moscow I start living in “fast and nervous” mode. I’m sure that such changes are necessary for us, we always have to switch back and forth between stress and recovering, calm and crazy, Switzerland and Moscow. For a example, if you’re depressed, a slow walk won’t help, you need to go for a run.
5. Meditation, or how to stop the stream of your thoughts
I’ve been practicing meditation for many years. I could never reach “the requiered zone”. They say meditation itself is not that important, the process is what counts. This is what I comfort myself with. There are different types of meditation: you can switch off your thoughts, or you can try to surrender to them. You have an idea — oh, not bad, let’s think about this. A new thought — yes, let’s switch over to that. Not stopping but just accepting the stream — it’s easier for me, as well as for many other people, who find it complicated to switch off their head and the thinking process.
6. Main rules about food
“I’m lucky because I generally don’t like unhealthy food. Usually people worry not about what they should eat, but rather but what they should not. “I cannot eat this cake, cannot have this pasta, cannot drink tea with sugar”. Think about other things, or better even write it down, everything you can and will eat. “I can eat these strawberries, I will have this salad with tomatoes and sheep cheese for lunch, I’m going to eat a mango mousse”. While shopping, choose bright colors — green, orange, red, they are always healthy and lift the spirit. Don’t eat white — potatoes, sugar, rice… that is, except white tea and wine of course!
7. The ideal skin: cosmetics, salmon, massage and inverted yoga poses
“I really do use Aveda cosmetics after all, I have worked with it for so long that I’ve learned to use them really well. But I also believe that for my skin eating the right food is of key importance. Good skin — this means fish, particularly salmon.
Another very important thing is a face massage. When you’re stressed, oxygen goes first to the internal organs, and last in line is the skin. Massage can return nourishment to the skin, attract oxygen again — and that makes all the difference. Another thing I can recommend for the face is the inverted poses from yoga. It’s enough to hang upside down or bend down deeply so that the head is lower than the heart, so that most of the blood goes to the head. This helps sculpt the face, fill in the hollows under the cheeks and the eyes that come with age, especially for women. Even more so if you’re slim. Somebody, I think Mae West the American actress, said: when a woman turns forty, she has the choice between the face and the backside. And that’s true, because if you’re slightly fat, the face will not lose the volume either. The inverted poses help bring back form to the face.
8. “Massage should relieve pain, not cause more pain”
“I try to have a massage as soon as I can. Sometimes it’s once a week, sometimes once a month. For me it’s important that the massage does not have strong pressure. I think of pain as resistance to all the work that is done to the body. And I believe that every time you resist because of pain, you actually create more tension in your body. I prefer dynamic massage, not holding you too long in one position, I like the rocking movements, the Thai stretching. This is like facilitated yoga, it helps increase the freedom of movement”.
9. “Negative emotions are passing clouds”
Yoga is a great help in fighting negative emotions, it teaches us to develop equanimity and not hold on to any emotions for too long. I like to compare this with a very quick rain shower, like you often see in the summer. The weather is sunny, then you see the clouds rolling up, it pours down and very quickly the clouds blow away again. If you are able to take the emotions as passing clouds, you can let them flow out without closing them in, without constantly feeling that negativity.
10. The main secret of longevity
If I had to pick one bad habit, the worst one, I’d probably say smoking. On the other hand, walking around all the time with terrible thoughts is just as bad. You always hear how somebody lived to be a hundred and five and they were smoking all their life. If you talk to that person, most likely it’s someone very happy, who has a lot of friends in their life, a big family, who has strong support. There was a study covering the healthiest cultures worldwide, people who live the longest. Some people in the mountains in Japan, some small village in Italy, a religious community in the USA etc. And the Italians were smoking like crazy. While the others lived like monks. The only thing they had in common was that they were living in a community where they felt extremely supported by the people around them. And that might be more important to longevity than anything else. So if you want to be in good health and live a long life, that’s probably the thing to look for.